Trump qualified for a tax break for New Yorkers making $500K or less

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Robisan, May 16, 2016.

  1. Robisan macrumors 6502

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    Apparently Trump applied for a tax break - a whole whopping $300 - for his primary residence that is only available to people who make $500K or less. According to Crain's New York Business Trump qualified several times and the City of New York verified the income to confirm he qualified.

    Here's what really has me just shaking my head. Why is super rich Donald Trump even bothering to apply for a $300 tax break?
    There is something very wrong with this man.

    Trump qualified for a tax break for New Yorkers making $500K or less
    City and state officials verify the incomes of residents who get the tax break. New Yorkers had to reapply for the tax deduction several years ago.

    One of the enduring mysteries of Donald Trump is just how much wealth he has. Forbes pegs his net worth at $4.5 billion, while Bloomberg News puts it at $2.9 billion. The GOP front-runner himself has said he's "really rich."

    Maybe, but Trump's income is low enough to qualify for a New York state property-tax break that most high-rollers don't get.

    It's called the STAR program, which stands for the New York State School Tax Relief Program and has been around since 1997. It offers an approximately $300 annual benefit for those who qualify. Hundreds of thousands of New York homeowners get it.

    Here's where it gets interesting for Trump: To be eligible for STAR, a married couple must have annual income of $500,000 or less. One wouldn't think a guy as rich as Trump claims to be would qualify, but records filed with the city's Department of Finance show he received a $302 STAR benefit on his latest property-tax bill for his Trump Tower penthouse on Fifth Avenue.

    That means whatever his annual income is, it's less than $500,000. (The state defines income for STAR purposes as federal adjusted gross income minus the taxable amount of total distributions from annuities or individual retirement accounts.) And Trump would have to have declared his New York apartment as his primary residence and sent the state a copy of his federal income-tax return in order to qualify for the $302 tax break.

    "It's strange that a billionaire would apply for a $302 tax benefit and, moreover, that he would take it," said Martha Stark, a property-tax expert and former New York City finance commissioner who is now a lecturer at Baruch College.

    Read the rest here.
     
  2. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    The better question is why wouldn't he apply for the 300 tax break?
     
  3. VulchR macrumors 68020

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    The problem is that we nationally tax income, not wealth. No doubt some trust pays for Trump lifestyle that makes it look like is his income is low. In any case, I thought Trump hadn't released his tax returns... :confused:
     
  4. rdowns macrumors Penryn

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    He is a despicable, loathsome person. He also stole 9/11 small business recovery funds. Of course, we have video of him on TV on 9/12 saying none of his properties were damaged.
     
  5. thewap, May 16, 2016
    Last edited: May 16, 2016

    thewap macrumors demi-god

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    Because his company/brand is the wealth / income earner, while his stated personal income earnings meet the star program. A business can earn millions in gross income, while the owner only allocates a certain amount of personal income to himself as an employee / CEO to be taxed as personal income.

    Gross income of a business does not account for business expenses, loan liabilities, future investments, other taxes paid..

    Suffice to say, regular wage slaves have no clue how big business is conducted.
     
  6. NT1440 macrumors G4

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    Honest to god, this is the conservative mindset in a nutshell.
     
  7. thewap macrumors demi-god

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    No, it is common knowledge of business owners left and right, nine to fivers have no clue what is involved in running a business correctly.
     
  8. Meister Suspended

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  9. bigjnyc macrumors 601

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    He just has an accountant who is doing his job. nothing to see here.... He probably writes off alot of losses hence the under 500K income.
     
  10. SusanK macrumors 68000

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    It's the best!
     
  11. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

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    That's how the rich stay rich. Get every penny you can and spend as little as you can. Nothing to see here.
     
  12. mgguy macrumors 6502

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    Trump's accountants would be remiss if they did not take advantage of all legal tax advantages available to him.
     
  13. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

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    Of course, there is another possibility-- that he isn't as wealthy as he likes people to believe he is. He may own $10B worth of hotels and casinos and golf courses -- but, how much does he owe? When his personal income taxes come out, chances are we won't see much. His real asset/debt balance could easily be hidden.
     
  14. edk99 macrumors 6502a

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    I highly doubt Trump does his own taxes and I even more highly doubt he even knows this tax break even exists. Heck I probably don't even know all the tax breaks my accounts takes on my taxes and I'm nowhere in the same universe as Trumps wealth.
     
  15. steve knight Suspended

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    If trump was doing things by the books he would not get audited constantly. That's according to the IRS
     
  16. Robisan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Shhhhh.

    Also, too, as you can see above, his supporters don't care. He said it himself, he could shoot someone in the streets of Manhattan and his supporters wouldn't care. Hell, if the person shot was of certain colors they'd cheer.
     
  17. rdowns macrumors Penryn

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    He claims NBC paid him a little over $15 million per season for his reality show. Kind of hard to earn less than $500,000 if that were true.
     
  18. NT1440 macrumors G4

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    What in gods name does running a business have to do with him clearly finding ways to hide his income to below 500k a year? If he's actually got hundreds of millions, there is nothing legitimate about making these adjustments to his PERSONAL income. IF you're going to try to tell me that he's investing all of his personal income when sitting on billions in trusts and businesses then I'm going to have to push back and say he's running his companies like a madman.

    More likely, he's just a ****ing tax cheat.
     
  19. Robisan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Noonan's Law: Is it irresponsible to speculate? It would be irresponsible not to.

    So what's up? In real terms, even what we see on TV - the fancy suits, limos, private jets - would be impossible to sustain on $500k a year. But maybe Trump really is only worth $200m or $300m, as biographer Timothy O'Brien reported a decade ago. Or perhaps he actually is a billionaire but has things arranged so aggressively that he managed to report less than $500k in income on his tax returns. Or maybe he's just an inveterate tax cheat who can't resist a minuscule tax break he doesn't qualify for?​
     
  20. lowendlinux Contributor

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    It would solve a lot of problems if the state of NY could bring him up on tax evasion charges and Comey could find enough to bring HRC up on charges
     
  21. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

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    My guess would be his accountant got it for him and he probably doesn't have a clue he was even getting the credit.
     
  22. steve knight Suspended

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    hence the constant audits.
     
  23. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

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    Because the IRS has shown to be an impartial body.
     
  24. hulugu macrumors 68000

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    Right. (Though that last sentence manages to poison pill what was otherwise a decent post.)

    Steve Jobs is a famous example of an executive who earned a salary of $1 in exchange for Apple stock. But, Jobs still earned money, he just earned money through stock dividends—Disney paid $.35 per stock earning Jobs around $48 million.

    So, Trump is likely playing a similar game.

    However, it would be interesting for someone with a deeper knowledge of real estate holdings and corporation earnings to analyze how Trump managed to get a $300 credit even though as rdowns points out, Trump has claimed much higher earnings.

    Which is why Trump should release his tax returns. It would be important to know if a presidential candidate is, for example, hideously over-leveraged in real estate, or has been vastly inflating his earnings.

    Yeah, we need to know the mechanism that allows a presidential candidate to earn $15 million for their TV show, and yet be able to also earn a tax credit for people making under $500,000.
     
  25. nbs2 macrumors 68030

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    AGI, who knows.

    I'd have to double check, but between our various retirement contributions and other write downs, I think I drop our reportable income by somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-40%. This is as a W-2 employee doing my own taxes. I'm sure a business owner with an accountant can do better.

    To answer the question, the vast majority of my deductions are charitable donations and, like Trump with this credit, I'll report a $5 donation. Everything is documented, but every penny counts.
     

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